I open the front door and see a black dufflebag on the floor. The door to the apartment across the hall is wide open.
Fuck I think, quickly closing the door without slamming it.
It's the Freak Across the Hall. Even though I've met him only once, that was enough.
I entered the hallway from the stairwell and walked down towards the apartment, keys in hand. He was at his apartment door with a female friend, a dowdy, ugly pale-faced dog. I couldn't tell if they were coming or going. As I got closer, I slowed my pace, waiting for them to enter the apartment or start walking towards the elevator. (In retrospect, I should have just turned around and walked back upstairs)
I thrusted my key into the lock and turned. I did not do this fast enough, because the old, trumpet-playing man recognized me.
Immediately, he sang the praises of our duplex-in-the-making to his friend. Have you ever heard someone gossip about you right to your face? This is what it sounds like:
"Ooooh, his apaaaaartment - well his friend's apartment - is unbelieeeeevable. They're making a duuuuuplex. You should seeeeee it..."
And as he went on and on, I opened the door and slipped inside. Here was where I had two, distinct options: 1) be a dick and slam the door in their faces or 2) wait for him to shut the fuck up and say "Have a good night."
As I tried to say goodnight, the Freak Across the Hall turned to me and said, "Oh, can she take a peek?"
This is the crucial difference between Larry and I. He will invite the most annoying of neighbors in to see our
So I opened the door as far as it could and she peeked in and up at the massive hole in the ceiling. The whole show-and-tell-with-a-total-stranger thing just left me a little annoyed.
Back to the present. I peek through the peep hole to spy on the Freak Across the Hall.
Even though the peep hole is behind a small square of one-way glass, I'm worried that he will somehow see me, so I turn the lights off.
The Freak paces back and forth in his apartment with the door open. It's as if he is purposefully delaying his exit. He disappears behind a wall and I hear him blowing his nose with the force of a truck horn. I hear the sound of hangers, as if he's looking for some last minute outfit.
Get the fuck out, I want to go upstairs and watch Family Guy!
I can hear him coughing, sniffling, snorting, blowing his nose. I tell myself that I will have to spray all the common door handles in the hallway with Lysol when the old fucker leaves.
Finally, he comes out into the hall and closes the door. I get a good view of his ugly black fedora and cheap leather jacket. As I spy on him, I wonder if people have done this to me, as I vacuum the hallways each night after the
I step back from the door and wonder if we have any Lysol in the apartment. Incredibly, there is a can prominently displayed atop the refrigerator. It's incredible because both apartments are in a state of junk-yard chaos. Good luck finding that camera battery charger or bottle of asprin you needed yesterday.
I slowly open the door and see that he is gone. I grab the can of Lysol and head out, spraying the handle on the stairwell door as well as the compactor room door.
Looks like life on 2 is going to be more interesting than I thought.